The Colosseum is one of those places that just makes you stop and look around and think. To imagine all the people for thousands of years that filled this space, people that died here, people that lived here, people that laughed and cried here. It’s places like this that you feel the whole weight of emotion in the history of it. I found myself completely overwhelmed by not only the building itself but the weight of emotion this building carries. It’s one of those monuments in the world that to step inside of it, to see the history, to feel the soul of this place, you can’t describe it and no photo will do it justice.
There are some places in the world that you just have to experience with your own eyes, that pictures don’t do them justice and that the feeling of being there is more amazing than anything you can imagine. Certain monuments throughout the globe offer those life changing experiences and in no particular order, here are the top 5 monuments I’ve experienced that can’t be missed!
While Cambodia in itself was a mixed experience for us, the temples of the Angkor Wat complexes are truly amazing. Our favorite was Bayon, in the Angkor Thom temple complex, truly took my breath away. Standing in the fading afternoon light, staring up at these incredibly detailed ruins, thinking about all those before us that had done the same, it’s truly a once in a lifetime experience.
The Eiffel Tower has become such a symbol in our society today that standing beneath it or admiring it from afar really is one of those just giddy moments. I saw it as a child for the first time, but when Nick and I returned together on our honeymoon years later, and every trip together since, each time I see it, I get butterflies in my stomach. It’s like seeing the Eiffel Tower in person means you’re really in Paris, like your dreams are coming true. It’s an incredible monument in terms of scale and proportions, but the feelings it provokes are even more amazing!
Rome is full of monuments but the Pantheon was a place where I had many surreal moments. First of all, this building is located in a gorgeous Roman piazza, one in which I sat for a long time just taking in all that was around me. As well, the inside of this building and the history that surrounds it really is just incredible. As I took it in, I thought about all the Romans that walked this very place so many many years ago, in their togas and sandals. I thought about the evolution of a building like this, turned from temple to church to everything in between. I thought about the stones holding it up, stones that were carved and touched and moved by people hundreds and hundreds of years ago. The history, like the Colosseum, in Rome is truly moving and the Pantheon totally encapsulates that.
Last, but certainly not least, the Taj Mahal is one of those places that pictures don’t even begin to cover what a fascinating place this is. This building is truly remarkable, not only in the love story that goes with it, but just seeing it in person, feeling the marble beneath your fingers, hearing the echoes within each chamber, seeing the tombs of the king and queen entombed there. It’s a place that totally blew me away. It’s one of those places that everyone knows, every one has seen pictures of, but the feeling you get when there is truly intoxicating.